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Policing And Crime Bill

February 4th, 2009 admin No comments

There has been a lot of emails flying in to my inboxes recently about the forthcoming discussion of the above Bill in Parliament. We have all been requested urgently to send in a letter/e-mail or attend the discussion which I believe is tomorrow in London.

There is a part of the Bill that I personally believe should go through as whilst I fully understand the reasonings people want to allow brothels and incalls to stay, I know that I find it distasteful. I know full well that it is supposed to be a lot safer environment than for girls to work on the streets but just for my personal feelings, its horrible and I speak from personal experience on this point as yes at one stage and for one night only I was asked to go to what was called a “gentlemans club” and then when a “client” came in, we were put in front of these guys for them to choose. How seedy did I feel … VERY … believe me it was a horrible experience but I went through with it and you can only know what feels right or wrong for you if you have that personal knowledge. I have it and don’t want it ever again thank you very much.

Putting that to one side I also know that I do not want me or the team ever detailed as sex workers as I don’t believe that we are. You all know my rants and raves on this subject by now. So what did I write in about? My mail is in its entirety below for you. I am not asking for your approval or otherwise but I do believe you should know that I do stand up for what I believe in and its not just words in my diary.

The email I received in …

Hi Angels4You

Apologies emailing out of the blue ? we’re sending this out at very short notice.

The Committee on the Policing and Crime Bill is discussing the sections on sex work on Thursday. They have received a series of emails from abolitionists in support of criminalising clients.

Please email
scrutiny@parliament.uk
and say

1 you’re emailing in response to the Policing and Crime Bill regarding the Committee discussions on Thursday

2 you work in the sex industry OR you don’t work in the sex industry but you care about the safety and the human rights of people who do

3 you ask them to drop section 20, which gives the police wide ranging powers to seal premises on suspicion (i.e. with no proof) that a wide of activities related to prostitution have happened or will happen. This will remove the protection of the law from many people in the indoor industry as people will not call the police if they know doing so risks closing the premises so we will suffer increased violence, robbery and rape.

4 that section 13 ? criminalisation of clients ? will do nothing to stop violence or trafficking, but will play into the hands of traffickers by decreasing reporting by clients of anxieties about trafficking.

If you want more information, a short briefing from the IUSW can be downloaded at http://iusw.org/TenReasonsWithLogo.doc

also online is an 18 page briefing on the Bill, at http://iusw.org/IUSWPolicingCrimeBillFeb09.doc

The email I sent in to scrutiny@parliament.uk

Dear Sirs

Can I please provide an opinion from one who works in the adult industry and who is aware of the Policing and Crime Bill regarding the Committee discussions this Thursday.  My voice, whilst small, is one in this industry that should be heard along with the rest of the people.  I care enormously about the safety and rights of people who work in this industry and it has been horrendous trying to be professional within the current legislation.

I visited an employment law specialist from Irwin Mitchell in Birmingham in the middle of 2007 to ascertain what route would be open to enabling escorts to be recognised as a sub contractor for escort agencies.  I was told then that I was too far ahead of what this present legislative climate would allow yet by trying to bring in the present sections that are under discussion you are, by doing this, pushing an industry further into the dark ages.

The more you push this industry away from proper, sensible and common sense legislation, the more you are endangering the people in this industry.  Bring in legislation but don’t criminalise clients as that will achieve nothing except pushing it underground but it seems that my voice, and the voices of others in this world, are not being heard or listened to.

I am not against legislation being brought in but the level you are aiming at is totally aimed at pushing this world further underground.  Please do not criminalise clients if you wish the women (and gay men) in this world to be safer.  This industry has been here since the dawn of time and pushing it further underground by criminalising clients feels criminal in itself.  I am in this industry, I know what will happen and the girls will not be safer whatsoever.  Men who desire their services will always find a way to get them and by telling men its a criminal activity then you are fully allowing the dangerous people who are already in this world to get more power as they will happily find the customers for these girls many of whom are trafficked. 

Why can you not listen to the people who are not trafficked, who have a free choice in what they do and who can choose to be in this world because they enjoy time out.  It is not illegal to be a prostitute and I certainly would never attribute that label to me personally but I know this world and I know that by doing what you are presently trying to do and force clients underground you are providing a dark world even less light than it has now.

Bring in legislation but don’t bring it in to make this world less than it already is.  We need more light, not dark and you need to talk to people who are in this world not people who simply think they know it.

I became an escort when I was 46 by choice as a fun hobby.  My full-time work is taken up by teaching IT at a local college and providing finance assistance to small to medium businesses who need PAYE, VAT and CIS covered.  I am an intelligent business woman who enjoys time out when she chooses too.  A prostitute sells her services, we all know that.  An escort can choose if she provides her body or just her time.  I preferred the latter and if women are informed about choices then they can choose too but by doing what you are doing, it’s wrong.  You are forcing what can be a professional industry (and it does not have to be run by seedy people but its only the way the legislative climate presently is that allows that to happen) into the continuance of avoidance.  Let this industry be legal, please.  Stop trying to tell us that we are trafficked.  A trafficked girl is of concern but the more you criminalise clients the more girls will no doubt be trafficked to cope with the demand that will still be there.

Personally, I believe that incall apartments and brothels are not right … the idea of a girl being stood there for a person to choose and be taken to a room to perform a service is wrong but I am in a minority in this world.  What I do know and believe though is that a woman (and a man) should not have their human right to choose what they do with their lives to be taken away.  That is why I am writing today to add my voice to the many I have no doubt will be coming your way. END

If I hear of anything as a result of what happens to the Bill reading (if its not already all over the newspapers) then I will let you know via my diary but for now, fingers crossed as this industry seriously do not need the type of legislation they are trying to bring in.

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